Politics & Government
7:45 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Democratic Gov Candidates Debate Marriage, Civil Unions

A final debate between the leading Democrats seeking to become Governor was held last night. Gurnal Scott reports a question about the marriage amendment on the ballot gave voters a clearer picture of where they stand on this divisive issue.

Gurnal Scott: All three leading Democrats for governor, Walter Dalton, Bob Etheridge and Bill Faison are on record opposing an amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. In WNCN TV's debate, the question took a different turn. The candidates were asked if they would push to recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions should they be elected. Faison would only commit to supporting more discussion.

Bill Faison: I think the people in this state believe, on the whole, that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think there's a place for a civil union. I think it's something that we should look at and I think it's something that should be discussed and debated at the legislature.

Etheridge says he would act on the matter if the legislature supported it. But he made it clear he thinks this issue should not be a very high priority.

Bob Etheridge: These issues are nothing more than distractions. They're meant to do that. They're meant to keep us from paying attention to dealing with North Carolina's future.

Dalton was the only candidate clearly in favor of recognizing same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Walter Dalton: I would support that law.

Dalton says if the amendment is approved, it still won't settle the issue.

Walter Dalton: If it should pass, it'll end up in the courts and we'll end up spending our tax dollars fighting a case that another state is already fighting and that money need to be going for jobs.

With the debates done, early voting begins today and will run through May 5th.